WOODSTOCK — It was improbable from the get-go.
In the grand scheme of things, it was never likely that anyone, let alone an 11-year-old girl, would complete Maine’s hunting grand slam.
But that’s Lexi Mack — lucky — be it landing a moose permit in just her second year entering the lottery, mastering a muzzleloader in time to shoot a deer a week before hunting season ended or having a supporting family to gently guide her way.
Mack, who had to overcome hours in the cold huddled in a hunting blind and her own fidgeting, has completed Maine’s hunting grand slam — bagging a bear, moose and deer all in the same season.
“I feel very lucky,” she said.
In just her second year of hunting, she’s completed a feat that veteran hunters spend a lifetime pursuing — and the odds are stacked against those hoping to achieve it. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, deer hunters were successful 17 percent of the time; bear hunters, 30 percent; while 72 percent of moose hunters succeed, although they first have to get a hard-to-come-by permit.
Longtime guide Steve Monroe of Grand Slam Guide Service in Shirley said completing the feat at such a young age shows dedication.
“The chances are slim to none,” Monroe said. “I’ve got 15 guys, and not one of them have a grand slam yet. They’re in their 50s to 60s and hunt religiously.”
After shooting a bear with relative ease, only to be confounded in the attempt to get a moose, Lexi, together with her grandparents Rick and Lisa Mack finally bagged a deer, one week before muzzleloading season closed.
“I told her, you have to be very careful because you only get one shot,” Rick said.
With time running out and several tantalizing sightings, Rick said they began to wonder if she’d be successful.
Finally, on Dec. 5, about 10 minutes before they were about to end their hunting day, they found the chance they had been looking for.
“I’m looking out the window, and there’s this big thing standing there,” Lexi said. “And then its ears twitch and a tail moves. We argued for 10 minutes if it was a buck or a doe. Then, finally the head comes out from a tree and it’s a four-pointer.”
Lexi, who said friends and teachers had been hounding her at school to see if she’d been successful, is the first member of her family to finish the job.
The Macks portion out the meat from the hunt among their extended family. But the bragging rights are Lexi’s.
“I told Lexi, if you shot something every time you went out they’d call it killing, not hunting,” Rick said.